Charleston Church Shooting

FILE - In this June 18, 2015 file photo, Charleston, S.C., shooting suspect Dylann Storm Roof is escorted from the Cleveland County Courthouse in Shelby, N.C. Attorneys for the federal government have opposed Roof's request for a new appellate hearing, arguing that the South Carolina man was properly convicted and sentenced for the 2015 racist slayings of nine members of a Black congregation. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) -- Dylann Roof's chances for a new appellate hearing continue to dwindle.

Roof is challenging his death sentence and conviction in the 2015 racist slayings of nine members of a Black South Carolina congregation.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday refused to reconsider recusing itself from his appeal. Roof's attorneys wanted the judges who opted to sit out his case to reinstate themselves to consider his petition for a new hearing.

One of the court's judges prosecuted Roof's case as an assistant U.S. attorney in 2017, when Roof became the first person in the U.S. sentenced to death for a federal hate crime.

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